The CMR form (a legal instrument defi ned and regulated by the Convention on the International Carriage of Goods by Road) is a required document for goods transport and transportation logistics. However, this paper form is tedious to fi ll out and process, particularly for small and medium-sized fleets that provide services to third parties. The introduction of an electronic CMR, or eCMR, with handwriting recognition, would simplify and speed up commercial and administrative procedures, while preserving current practices associated with the use of paper forms. There is a real opportunity here to ensure the traceability of goods, and obtain a precise cost evaluation for operations purposes. A signifi cant amount of time would be saved, compared to the current procedures for encoding and managing data, especially for high volumes of goods transported.
The eCMR project targets effi cient electronic handling and exploitation of CMR forms. Through the development of an embedded system for seamless acquisition and transmission of a CMR form’s information, the eCMR project aims to skilfully cross-reference and combine CMR data with available in-vehicle information from various other sources (tachograph, GPS, sensors, etc.).
The information sources used to enhance the CMR form’s information can be extracted from various devices embedded in trucks. These include:
- Positioning system (GPS)
- Digital tachograph (recording the driver’s activities, distances travelled, the vehicle’s speed and identification data, etc.)
Thanks to its expertise in embedded equipment, communication protocols and interfaces, CETIC is able to design an embedded system dedicated to the acquisition, local processing and transmission to a remote server of information from a number of different devices.
The remote information management system requires an adequate level of abstraction to allow the end-operator to focus on the data, and not be distracted by the specifi c constraints and details related to the heterogeneity of the equipment.
Development began in 2008 with:
- The Bluetooth Dongle, which is a smart wireless communication device that transfers the digitised CMR forms from a digital note recorder to any Bluetooth-enabled device.
- A centralised information management system, which implements the abstraction layer required for position data collection from vehicle devices.
The second step was to enhance the embedded system by the addition of an embedded PC. This PC is permanently connected to devices such as the tachograph data broadcast interface, the CAN/FMS interface and the AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) device that provides GPS and various sensor data.
In 2010, the project was extended for 6 months to improve the system with the addition of new features to optimize the use of the TCP/GPRS connection for data transmission, and to run real-world tests. As a result of the improvements, the transmission of GPS, CAN and tachograph data is configurable remotely from the management station. Similarly, recognition of events from tachographic data (e.g. exceeding the speed limit) logged in a file by the onboard equipment allows the transmission of only relevant information. In June, 2010, tests were conducted, and then the embedded equipment was mounted in a truck operated by the transport company. Paquet, and the server (remote information management system) was deployed on a PC in Smolinfo’s offices.